Most people don’t know this, but there are leading math educators whose celebrity status rivals Hollywood’s favorite movie stars. At least among math teachers! When Success Academy provided our high school math team with the chance to attend the annual National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in San Antonio, Texas— essentially the Oscars of math education — we could hardly wait.
His best time to date: one minute and two seconds.
Classes at SA Bronx 1 and SA Hell’s Kitchen got a lot bigger (and a little taller) earlier this month, when forty-five educators from as far away as Louisiana, Tennessee, Arizona, and Israel saw Success Academy’s innovative math curriculum in action in our kindergarten and first grade classrooms.
It was a casual encounter in Harlem that brought the two of them together.
For three days at the end of May, two dozen seventh-grade scholars from three Success Academy middle schools — Harlem East, Harlem West, and Harlem Central — traveled to Oyster Bay, L.I., to study marine biology, ecosystems, winds, tides, and sailing at the Waterfront Center.
I usually don’t visit Capitol Hill to see great teaching and learning. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go to the Hill recently and observe Success Academy math teacher Dana Adnopoz masterfully deliver a lesson on proportional reasoning to a group of fifth graders.
A few weeks ago, one of my fifth grade students asked a simple question that challenged me to think differently about my own pedagogy and powerfully illustrated the value of the Common Core’s commitment to a deeper, conceptual understanding of mathematics.
Recently, The New York Times published an article about Success Academy, and it left me with a heavy heart. Success Academy is known for its joyful rigor, but the Times reporter described only the “rigor.” So I felt that I had to share my family’s experience and talk about the “joyful” part.
In January, Mr. Yoo’s seventh-graders competed against 16,577 students from the U.S. and other countries, all of them taking the same five-question test.
What does it look like when the quality of a scholar’s mathematics work is truly excellent?
The math bee is an annual tradition at Success Academy that invites scholars to flex their math muscles in front of family members, teachers and peers. The questions are crafted to align to Common Core fluency standards, but also go beyond simple calculations or facts that must be memorized.